Splash - May/June 2012 - (Page 12)

stARtiNG BLOCKS KeyS TO SuCCeSS AT TRIALS by Bob Schaller aDam PRetty/Getty imaGes HaRRy HoW/Getty imaGes JeD JaCoBsoHn/Getty imaGes stReeteR LeCKa/Getty imaGes SuCCeSS Some members of the U.S. National Team let us in on their Keys to Success for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Their advice might be helpful to you, no matter what big meet you’re competing in this summer. peter VanDerKaay “Be flexible. It’s always important to have a solid plan, but make sure you are ready for some monkey wrenches. Even the best-prepared swimmers can have their plan derailed. However, elite swimmers can roll with the punches and adapt. Having the mindset of being flexible will keep you ready to execute.” ariana KuKOrs “Just stay in your own lane, mentally. Know and understand that you can’t control how everyone else does. You can only control what happens in your lane, and focus on that line at the bottom of the pool rather than those outside your lane lines. Olympic Trials is an event where everyone comes out blazing, and since we are the last country to do Trials, people are watching us because they know impressive things are going to happen. But you can’t control the person in the heat before you, or the person next to you, so know that you have done everything you can, and do your best.” Kim VanDenBerG “Embrace the moment. Olympic Trials are always full of excitement and full of emotion, so there is a lot of energy flowing around the pool deck. Embracing the moment is something I try to do on a daily basis, but it’s even more important at big events like Trials. To be 100 percent in the moment allows me to focus on the now instead of worrying about what will happen next. With prelims, semi-finals and finals – embracing each moment is critical in order to chase the Olympic dream. Being present heightens awareness, and with awareness comes a sense of control, a control over emotions and therefore over ourselves. I think that’s one of the biggest keys to success.” nathan aDrian “Remember what got you there. There is no changing your strategy come meet time at Olympic Trials. What you have been doing, and how you have been preparing, are going to work best. Olympic Trials is not the time to experiment with a different way to do things. The meets leading up to it are the place for that. At Olympic Trials, it’s about executing your game plan.” splAsH • May/June 2012 • The TRIALS ISSue Jessica harDy “Be supportive. Whether you’re competing in an individual or team event, it’s important to always stay positive and support those around you. Each athlete is competing for the honor of representing their country on the world’s largest stage. No matter what the result of Trials, everyone needs to support their fellow USA competitors who have worked so hard and are fortunate enough to be able to potentially travel to London for the 2012 Games.” Jenny cOnnOlly “Live in the present. That is something I have to do at Olympic Trials. You have to realize this is the coolest meet you could ever go to, because the best of the best are there. What is more awesome of an opportunity than to race the best swimmers in the world – and they are all from your own country? That’s pretty cool.” christine maGnusOn “Realize the work is done. I think a major key to success when you’re at a big meet like Olympic Trials is to realize that all the work has already been done, and that it’s time to relax and have fun. By the time you get to a big meet, you’ve already built the confidence you need through workouts and inseason racing. There is nothing else you can do the moment you step behind the blocks besides recognize that you’ve prepared your best, and enjoy the moment.” marK GanGlOFF “Mentally prepare for a high pressure situation. What I mean by that is that if you come in with the understanding that it is high pressure, you will not be surprised when you get there. Try to run through your visualizations (dress rehearsals) so that you have an idea of what you are getting into. If you did not attend the 2008 Trials, do your best to get some video and it will give you a feeling of what the venue is going to be like. The more comfortable you can be in your mind, the more comfortable you will be once you are actually there.” check out this video of more National team athletes talking about their Keys to success at trials. stReeteR LeCKa/Getty imaGes FenG Li/Getty imaGes anDReW H. WaLKeR/Getty imaGes LaRs BaRon /Getty imaGes 12

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Splash - May/June 2012

Splash - May/June 2012
About Trials...
Mike Gustafson
Swim Briefs/Justin Case
Top Ten Tweets/Point-Counterpoint
Keys to Success
Training With
Athletic Foodie
Olympic Trials Preview
The Swimmers
Rank & File
Third Is No Charm
Repeat Performance
Trials Pressures
Behind the Scenes
The Venue
Alex Meyer
Making the Team
Swim Nut Zeke
Ultimate Pump-Up Song
Best Race Ever
America’s Swim Team Athletes

Splash - May/June 2012